Johan Santana Out Indefinitely
Today Johan Santana admitted he won’t know when he’ll pitch again. So what happens next?
From Adam Rubin on ESPN-NY:
“I’ve just got to stay here and work out and get ready,” Santana said Saturday morning. “… I’m making progress. It’s just I don’t know when I’m going to be pitching again. That’s the thing: We cannot think ahead. The way we’re approaching everything is every day make sure we have a good day.”
Terry Collins felt it necessary to offer a time frame:
“It may take six weeks to get him where he wants to be,” manager Terry Collins said.
Unfortunately, it may take longer than that — there’s really no way to know.
With Santana out of the picture for the moment, Jeremy Hefner steps into the #5 spot in the rotation, and a bullpen spot opens up.
For those who believed at the beginning of spring training that the Mets had an outside shot at a winning season and/or a postseason appearance, does this news affect that optimism? Do you think a healthy Santana is key to the Mets’ chances of playing meaningful games in September? If so, how many starts — roughly — does he need to make? Sound off in the comments.
The irony is that he probably is short-arming — and began short-arming — in an effort to protect the shoulder. But by doing so he inadvertently causes it more harm than good.
I wouldn’t put too much stock into injury descriptions related by baseball coaches, trainers, and PR people (such as “shoulder fatigue”), because they don’t always follow actual, universally accepted medical conditions, nor do they always have consistency in definition. Even though baseball teams hire the most expensive surgeons and doctors, they don’t necessarily follow or communicate true medical language; MLB injury language is largely idiom loosely based on medical phrases. Part of this is, I guess, is to preserve competitive advantage, part is poetic license to avoid losing ticket sales, and part is genuine ignorance.
That’s not to say everything we hear is bogus; in fact, I bet most of the medical news we hear is correct and true. However there are vague terms thrown around that have very little connection to an actual medical condition, or is a mislabeled clinical condition. For example, we hear the diagnosis “dead arm” all the time, but if a pitcher really had “dead arm,” he wouldn’t be “pitching through it” — he’d be scheduled for an operating table.
To me, Santana had one big job this year, and that was to prove his health and pitch well until the All-Star Break so he could be traded. But with this timetable, I’m not sure he’ll have enough time to wow any GM enough to fetch a good prospect…
Forgotten your history, Izzy? The current team has four years of mediocrity under its belt, virtually identical in performance to the 2001-2005 teams.
Try 1977-83 for sustained badness: the franchise won 40% of its games during that 7 year stretch.
I said this mediocre run was comparable to 01-05, and it is. It’s not better than that stretch. But, IF the team makes some decent moves in the 2013 off-season (and despite your cynicism to the contrary, they could), the team could be decent again in 2014, leaving this period no darker than the last. And either way, it’s nothing like the no-end-in-sight miseries of 77-83 (and really, that era was pretty much mediocre from 70-83, but incredibly lucky in ’73).
I know you hated the Beltran-for-Wheeler trade, and you have nothing good to say about what Alderson has accomplished so far. But should the team become successful with its youth-movement approach, the credit will be his.
Now, though? If “general fatigue, a sprained ankle, and lower back stiffness” means he can’t touch a baseball for 6 months and then can’t make any progress in 6 weeks of camp, I think that means his career is done. It was obvious that he couldn’t pitch normally after the ankle sprain, but the team kept running him out there, and I can only guess that he destroyed his shoulder compensating for his inability to use his legs.
They tell us his shoulder is “structurally sound”, but have you ever heard of an MLB pitcher with a sound arm taking 6 months off and then stalling out at 90 feet of long-toss for 6 weeks? Of course not. He’s done. Time to join the Hefner fan club! Or head to your friendly rent-a-Lohse store.
Go 6 months without even tossing?
A clear sign that something’s seriously wrong.
I second Argon’s points above, well said.
Unless you consider presiding over a losing team an accomplishment, Alderson has accomplished nothig yet in his Met teure. In fact, objectively speaking, his gaffes outnumber his good moves. Gus makes a legit point about being hamstrung financially, so that has to be take into account. Getting Wheeler appears to be a good move, and I hope Alderson sends Sabean a nice Christmas present each year, but that needs to be proven at the MLB level. Lastly, regarding the span in Met history, this run has been brutal. I did not live through 62-68, but I did the 77-83 run. It was bad, and worse wins/losses wise, but I see the current run as 2007 to today. Those two lemons in 2007 and 2008 were brutal. Losing seasons 4 in a row constitutes horrible, not mediocre, as Dan B. says. Horrible. Until someone can explain otherwise, it is going to be more difficult going from 72 wins in 2013 to compete in 2014 than it would be going from 82 wins in 2013 to compete in 2014. I will try to maintain Gus’s optimism, but right now this squad looks undermanned, and the GM is continuing to do nothing. I wish I could get a job like that.
My point to Izzy was that the current situation is far from rock bottom. This is a team that’s rebuilding, as they did from 01-05, not hopelessly floundering, as they did from 77-83.
Now, as to whether this rebuild will be successful is another matter, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the club do well in 2014. Frankly, if everything went unusually well this year (as it did for Oakland and Baltimore last year), they could be not terrible this year; but that’s not likely.
I won’t call the Alderson reign a failure because his hands were tied for much of it. Blame the Wilpons all you want for that. Alderson may yet prove successful.
Do you think — for a second — that Sandy Alderson recommended David Wright’s extension? That has Wilpon desperation written all over it.
Omar usually sounded vague, avoidant, and sometimes dumb. Then he proceeded to make some good moves and some bad ones, which showed little plan and didn’t overall upgrade the team.
Sandy has usually sounded smart and strategic, though occasionally avoidant. He’s made some good moves and some bad ones, which have showed little plan and haven’t overall upgraded the team.
I think the true test of the New Regime will be to see what DePodesta does with our minor league pipeline. We need our young guys to start outperforming initial expectations, just like newcomers to the Braves’ organization always do.
Alderson might do more for the long term. For now, he’s unproven. And I agree with you that a good farm system is the way to sustained success.
You’d be hard pressed to find anyone that doesn’t believe a good farm system is the way to build sustained success. The point that those of us Alderson skeptics make is that it need not be done at the expense of the MLB team. The best franchises do just that, sustain a robustfeeder system while adding MLB talent to stay competitive most every year. Alderson clearly has not done this.
Again, everyone loves building blocks. Yes, they have some good “potential” building blocks, which came at the expense of the current Cy Young winner and a borderline HOF OF. Alderson also let go a potential HOF SS, and a quality CF for virtually zip in return. I am not trying to run him out of town, but why does he get a pass in year 3 of a losing tenure when he himself has said he has money to spend? Why not put one or two known quantities around these building blocks so they don’t get destroyed as they try to cut their teeth in NYC? How would one MLB OF and a closer with some track record harm the building plan? When someone provides a logical answer to that question, I will be willing to give Alderson a little more credit. Based on his actions (or inactions), not his words, he has punted on 2013. So, his words have been disingenuous, which is just business as usual for the franchise under this ownership.
I assume that Alderson could perform similarly if handed the money that Minaya had to throw around. But maybe I shouldn’t assume that until we see it.
On the negative side, we have Ring-Bell-Owens-Lindstrom for Bostick-Johnson-Vargas-Adkins (leading to 2007-2008’s bullpen disasters) and Pagan for Ramirez-Torres (leading to 2012-2013’s outfield disasters). That’s what I meant by “overall”. The GM giveth one year, and taketh the next.
At least Jae Seo for Duaner Sanchez and Nady for Ollie were good calls…
You got 35 year old Marlon Byrd, coming off a .210 avg drug suspension year, as your starting RF. What more do you want?
many of that around here?
I expected Santana to have something and maybe be worth SOMETHING in July & overall this is pretty sad.
But, Santana didn’t win that many games last year. Harvey, Wheeler, maybe Hefner (if he has a good year), one or two guys out of the pen & D’Arnaud and maybe (if he shows something) Cowhill and probably someone else will be more on my radar in ’13.
Still sad, since I thought we’d get more out of Santana & he would not end his time here this badly.